Dividing Up Real Estate After Divorce
Ask the Real Estate Lawyer: Real Estate Law Q&A
REM # LAW 670
By Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin
Summary: A reader was able to gain sole ownership
of her home and pay off her husband prior to filing for divorce. Now she is
worried that he can make a claim for the house during the divorce proceeding.
Ilyce explains that the house may be safe, but all her assets will be considered
when the divorce proceeds.
Q: I was able to get my husband to quitclaim our home to me. I refinanced the
loan and paid him off.
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Now I've been told (and I have not spoken to a lawyer) that he could still
ask for get half of the house through a divorce settlement. He left me and I'm
filing for divorce. He said he would not contest the divorce but he needs money.
Can he get the house?
A: The short answer is probably not. If you paid him off and he got his share
of the home, it’s very unlikely that he would prevail and get the home
in the circumstances you have outlined.
Keep in mind, however, that the home is only part of the divorce settlement.
If there are other assets that haven’t been divided and there is value
in those assets, depending on who owns the assets, he may owe you money or you
may owe him money. You should really consult with a divorce attorney, not only
about the house but about all of your assets.
Finally, the amount you paid your husband after your refinanced the home, would
come into play in determining what amount he should be entitled to in a divorce,
if he is entitled to anything.
Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Ilyce
R. Glink’s latest book is 50 Simple Steps You Can Take To Sell Your
Home Faster and For More Money In Any Market. If you have questions for
them, write: Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, IL 60022
or contact them through Ilyce’s website www.thinkglink.com